Dean of Students and Undergraduate Affairs Rosalind Williams announced last Thursday that the Orientation/Residence Fall '98 Committee of faculty, students and staff will be chaired by Kim Vandiver, professor of ocean engineering and a member of the Task Force on Student Life and Learning. The committee (deliberately named to place "orientation" before "residence") met the same day.
Professor Vandiver said the committee needs to determine the important guiding principles on how MIT orientation and residence selection is run.
"We need to see if we can find some ways of better implementing those principles for the fall," he said. "The fall of '98 should be seen as an experiment. It's an opportunity to try some new things and improve on them in following years. It's important to see it as experimental and not as practices that we are going to lock ourselves into forever just because we do them next fall."
Dean Williams said the committee will be working intensely with an initial report to the senior administration due by Saturday, Nov. 15. The reason for the short time frame is that any changes that get made have to be decided upon quickly because early-decision applicants must decide by December 15, and these changes will obviously have some effect on those decisions. The early timetable would also allow time for a report to the faculty at the November 19 faculty meeting, and for commitments MIT has to make soon in order to put things into place for next fall.
Dean Williams said at the October 21 meeting that the final decisions would be made by President Charles Vest, Provost Joel Moses, Senior Vice President William Dickson and herself.
The student members are:
Marion Groh, a junior in electrical engineering and computer science from Mariel Marly, France, who is president of Student House, an independent living group at 111 Bay State Rd. in Boston.
William Shen, a senior in economics from Brecksville, OH, who is president of Phi Delta Theta, 97 Bay State Rd., Boston, and chair of the Interfraternity Council R/O Proposals Committee.
Pamela Mukerji, president of the freshman class from East Northport, NY and a resident of the East Campus dormitory.
Ashesh Shah, a senior in mathematics and economics from Huntington, IN, president of the Dormitory Council and a resident of the Next House dormitory at 500 Memorial Drive.
Faculty and staff members of the committee are:
Andrew Eisenmann, associate dean of students for residence and campus activities.
Suzanne Flynn, professor of foreign languages and literatures and chair of the Committee on the Undergraduate Program.
Paul Gray, professor of electrical engineering, former president and former chairman of the Corporation.
Robert Kaynor, associate director of the Planning Office.
Charles Stewart, associate professor of political science and housemaster at McCormick Hall.
Holly Sweet, associate director of the Experimental Studies Group.
Staff support to the committee will be provided by Steven McCluskey, project coordinator in the Dean's Office.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on November 5, 1997.